There are a couple of new details on the federal – and now state – investigation into the cost of public employees’ prescriptions in Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City. Lynda Cohen of BreakingAC reported that state grand jury subpoenas issued yesterday likely mean that alleged lower-level suspects in the case would be charged by the state and not federal prosecutors. Meanwhile, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said hundreds could be charged in a late Sunday interview with NBC’s Ted Greenberg. Tyner also said the investigation involves anyone “who played a role in deceiving the insurance companies.”
The insurance companies have fraud detection units. They’re supposed to be on top of this stuff. And then the state is supposed to be on top of them if they’re not. Remember the state shut down in July? It was because of a weird Trenton fight over Horizon, the state’s largest insurer, that no one really understood. At one point, though, Christie announced $15.5 million in fines for Horizon for incorrectly processing Medicaid claims. There were multiple levels of oversight that appear to have failed in this prescription fraud probe. Are the insurance companies out of the spotlight in this investigation? And, if so, why?
Congress is considering bipartisan legislation that would extend tax credits to investments in renewable energy in coastal and other waters across the United States, potentially a boon for New Jersey, NJSpotlight reports. Federal support for offshore wind could be big for South Jersey in particular, since a project just 10 miles from the Atlantic City coastline has been in development for a while now. The developers for that project are currently conducting site assessments that may not be completed until May next year (NJSpotlight reported earlier this year).
The Federal Commission headed by Gov. Chris Christie recommends declaring opioid addiction a national emergency. The commission also recommends other measures that would increase treatment options and boosting efforts to share data on prescriptions and addicts across state borders, NJTV reports. You can read the commission’s interim report to the president here.
In the rest of the day’s news, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is starting to pump the Margate/Christie lake back into the ocean (beaches closed from Ventnor border to the end of the lake), there’s been a lot of GOP fundraising in Salem and Gloucester counties, someone stole over $4,000 in tools from Habitat for Humanity in Salem County, read this long (but worth it) feature from SNJ Today on how local barbershops are surviving as other small businesses close, another Portuguese Man O’War washed ashore in New Jersey over the weekend, and a victim’s call to Atlantic City police sparked an investigation into human trafficking and prostitution and two arrests last week. All that and more below.
Atlantic, Cumberland Counties Get Police Grants–Law-enforcement agencies in Atlantic and Cumberland counties are two of 28 departments statewide to receive part of more than $200,000 in grant money for community policing programs, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced Tuesday. Press of Atlantic City
Appellate Panel Upholds Dr. Kauffman’s Pretrial Detention–The detention of an Egg Harbor Township doctor pending trial on a gun charge was upheld last week. Dr. James Kauffman has been jailed since June 13, when he pulled a gun as detectives and FBI agents came with a warrant to search his office and files. BreakingAC
Teammates Driving with Teen Killed Testify in Court–Madelyn Williscroft thought the truck would swerve out of her lane. But as she drove her sister and three other teens west on Route 40 heading to a charity soccer tournament they were competing in at St. Augustine in Richland, the eastbound truck continuing coming at them from the oncoming lane. BreakingAC
South Jersey Gas Will Replace Galloway Township Gas Mains Through November–South Jersey Gas said a natural gas main renewal project will take place from later this month through November in Galloway Township. Shore News Today
Millville Historical Society Celebrates its Own 90 Years of History–For 90 years, the Millville Historical Society has been a vital community resource preserving the history of the City of Millville in southern New Jersey. www.snjtoday.com
USDA Program to Help Organic Food Producers, Handlers in Garden State–Officials with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture say they are now accepting applications for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program to help reduce organic certification costs. www.snjtoday.com
American Gaming Association Unveils New Code of Conduct in AC–Officials with the American Gaming Association (AGA) met at Stockton University in South Jersey on Tuesday, August 1st, to unveil a new code of conduct to help promote responsible gaming. www.snjtoday.com
SJ Gas Stations to Pay $460K to Settle Labor Law Allegations–Owners of six gas stations in South Jersey (including Vineland, Maple Shade, Pemberton, Elmer and Mount Holly) will pay its employees stiffed on overtime pay. Courier-Post